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Missoula Measures - Sexual Behavior


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Why this topic?

Responsible sexual behavior significantly reduces the risks of:

Common contributing factors to irresponsible sexual behavior include alcohol and drug use, peer pressure (especially among teens), and lack of knowledge about safe sex practices. Domestic violence and abuse may also be a factor.

The consequences of irresponsible sexual activity impact society not only in terms of medical costs, but also in high school drop-out numbers (not only of pregnant teen girls, but of their children); irresponsible teen parenting that often leads to child abuse or neglect; and poverty (single Moms with minimal education or job skills). (While placing an unintended child for adoption can improve the chances of success for that child and the birth mother, it does not seem to be encouraged.)

Those who choose to be sexually active, and who are not in a monogamous relationship, can protect themselves from these negative consequences by consistently practicing safe sex habits, such as condom use.

How are we doing?

In 2005, Missoula’s high school Health Enhancement classes devote 3 weeks (50 min per day) to sex education, which also includes abstinence and birth control information. Only 1-2 students per school opt out of the program.

Missoula County has an average of about 150 reported cases of Chlamydia each year. This is probably only 30% of actual cases. Most reported Chlamydia cases are in females aged 15-24. This is due to greater susceptibility to infection, inexperience in negotiating safer behaviors, a greater likelihood of multiple partners and other factors. Females account for most reports because they seek reproductive health care more frequently than men, and because men are typically asymptomatic.

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Indicators


MT DPHHS - STD Morbidity Report

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • Teens (grades 9-12) not sexually active, or using condoms - 95%
  • Proportion of females (and their partners) at risk for unintended pregnancies who use condoms - 100%
  • 43 pregnancies per 1000 adolescent females
  • Persons with Chlamydia - 3%
  • Persons with genital herpes - 14%

The US Dept of Health and Human Services sponsors the Healthy People objectives, a science-based, 10-year national plan for improving the health of all Americans.

Currently, Health People 2020 reports that almost half of all pregnancies are unintended.

Related data

graph high school student sexual activity US, Montana, Missoula 2009 

YRBS

 

graph sexually active Montana hi school students and condom use

YRBS

Related Measures

Youth Sexual Behavior

HEALTH

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Related websites

Condom Effectiveness - CDC

Preventing pregnancy - Woman's Health .gov

YRBS trend data

Teen sexual behaviors - CDC

Montana teen pregnancy report

Healthy People 2020 - extensive background on national public health status of this topic and many others.

 

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